A Talented Artist and his Inspiring Medieval Town

What better place to live as an artist then where the art is an everyday living breathing culture. Sure Paris and New York, anywhere that has big art museums and theatre in the park and fantastic art schools. That’s NOT what I am referring too. I am referring to the art of craft. The medieval town of Bevagna, tucked away in the beautiful region of Umbria is in itself a museum. The town offers the ancient arts & crafts that have long since been replaced by machines and new technologies. Arts & crafts that don’t mean felt and boogley eyes and puffy paint.

Luigi Frappi Studio, Benvagna, Umbria, Italy

This amazing town where people live and go about their daily business is in itself a museum. It offers an artist studio where colors are still hand-made, the paper shop where you can actually see the process of hand making paper, and the candle maker where you can even make your own candle. What better place to be and be inspired in, then to be surrounded by the love of what one does. The well-known artist, or little-known if you are not into art, Luigi Frappi lives in this amazing and beautiful town.

Luigi Frappi Studio, Benvagna, Umbria, Italy

Recently, while a guest of the region of Umbria and hosted by Umbria on the blog, I had the great opportunity to wander through this town, but the most magical moment was when Luigi caught up with us on the street and invite us back to his studio. Upon entering the building, we followed this huge staircase up to his door. The flat has these tall ceilings which makes fantastic space for all the artwork. From floor to ceiling of still life and landscapes. It was truly beautiful. However, with that said, not really my type of artwork. I casually was standing by the back door peering through the windows when Luigi must have caught my glance and immediately came over and opened the doors for me and invited me out onto his rooftop terrace. This was where I fell in love with Luigi’s art work. Outside wasn’t the painting of the watermelon slice in 20 sizes, it was full of 3D art and modern abstract pieces. One of my favorites was a wall hanging with three motherboards painted black. This piece had so many thoughts running through my head.

Luigi Frappi Studio, Benvagna, Umbria, Italy

It was so spectacular of Luigi to invite us into his studio. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend stopping by and catching his exhibit or seeing his art work.

Interesting Links

Luigi Frappi, Artist

Umbria on the Blog, Umbria Italy

Although I was a guest of Umbria on the blog and the region of Umbria and Luigi Frappi, all of the thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Dinner and a Show

What better way to spend an evening then enjoying dinner and a show. This weeks show was the gallery opening for “Love, People & Scrabble” held at/by Del Ray Artisans. The show was preceded by dinner at a locally owned restaurant, Fireflies. Another reason why I love Alexandria, our local restaurants and fun art shows!


This local gem boasts great food and a friendly atmosphere. They also offer live music Thursday through Sundays and a trivia night every Tuesday. However, my adventures on Friday took me for an early dinner. One of the features I love about this restaurant is the way I get to pick my sides. I am not talking choosing a steak and having the option of 7 types of potatoes and 4 vegetables. I am talking about do I want my Tilapia over fettuccine or roasted potatoes or on a bed of sauteed spinach. And finally, someone who serves a decent fruit salad. Out with the melon/citric mix and occasional strawberries if they are in season. My fruit salad was thinly sliced apples mixed with a light cranberry sauce, excellent choice. My date for the evening chose the beef and shrimp kabobs over grilled vegetables and sweet potato fries. Both dinners were very much enjoyed!

Links: Fireflies Del Ray’s Website

Fireflies Dinner

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Love, Politics & Scrabble: The Games People Play

The Del Ray Artisans is a local art group founded in 1992. It is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote art for the benefit of artists and the community. They offer a full calendar including workshops and art shows. Many of their shows are open to all artists in the DC-area, some are open just to those who are members. However all people are welcome to the art shows and exhibits displayed at their gallery located in Del Ray area of Alexandria Virginia.

This particular exhibit is an all media exhibit of artwork inspired by the various games people play throughout life…including the game of life! The opening night reception was held on February 3rd and runs though February 26th. The gallery is generally open during the day, noon to 6pm. Friday’s the gallery is open until 9pm and Saturdays 10am-9pm. Admission is always free. This particular show also offers a Valentine Card Shop, an Art Games event and an ATC Artist Trading Card Swap as well as a Games Talk with and challenge with the famous Capital Pool Checkers Club.

The exhibit encompassed all types of works from 3D sculptures created from actual games to pastels and jewelry pieces made from dominoes. A few of my favorites was a recreation of Candy Land; a word code game using dominoes; and as photography of fast food trash found on a street curb called “Consumerism”.

The recreation of the all time favorite children’s game Candy Land gives us an adult version! Created by B Boatman this adventure to the sweet end titled “DC CAND LAND” focuses on matching scandals with the elected officials or political operatives who either caused the scandal or who were caught up in it by their association. The game even includes a double sided print out for viewers to play along!

The word code game by local author and artist Amy Thomas uses dominoes to spell out a code. The answer lies in the key and spells “You Win”, each letter represented by a dot on the domino. What a fun idea!

The photograph that I liked so much at the exhibit wasn’t just fast food containers found on a street curb. It happened to be a photography of a McDonald’s monopoly game food container, among others. What a great find in and appropriately titled “Consumerism”. Consumerism is defined as the preoccupation of society with the acquisition of consumer goods. The popular game of Monopoly fits this category, after all who doesn’t own one of the hundreds of version of the all time favorite board game. McDonald’s Monopoly game offers consumers encouragement to purchase their food as well as the entertainment of playing their unique version of Monopoly in the chance to win prizes. I felt this image really encompassed the concept of “the games people play”!

This art exhibit was a lot of fun and I highly recommend it to anyone who is in the area this month. The exhibit also offers a Marketplace filled with art to be purchased. The gallery is located at the Nicholas A. Colasanto Center in Alexandria. It is a small building that contains a huge amount of talent.

Interesting Links

Del Ray Artisans Website

Alexandria Times Article on “Love, Politics & Scrabble”

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